Counting the Cost

12 Dec

Budgeting is telling your money, time, and energy where to go instead of wondering where they went.

Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds; (Proverbs 27:23)

How do you flesh out a goal?
How do you count the total cost to see if that goal is reasonable to pursue?
How important is keeping a written budget?

Long ago, before I went to college, my father taught me to keep a detailed, written budget for my finances. Doing that had a huge positive impact on the decisions I made and my future options. It allowed me to give generously, save, take several nice family vacations each year, and buy reliable cars without assuming any debt. More importantly, the budget allowed me to say “No” to things I couldn’t afford. That took away a lot of stress.

Once I began working as a physician, my budget helped me plan and make monthly investments into my retirement account. It helped me invest my money wisely. One year, my retirement account actually grew by more than twice my annual gross income as a physician.

Many people outright reject the discipline of budgeting and give a myriad of excuses for why that’s not for them. Others use a budget simply as a means to track expenses. But I can tell you first hand that budgeting is much more than that. Financial budgeting is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.

But what about time and energy? How important is it to budget those? Is it practical and helpful to develop written budgets for our time and energy? If so, how do we go about doing that?

Recently during the Life Focus workshop in Virginia Beach, I learned about personal core values and value statements. I became aware of how understanding and clarifying my core values helps me decide what to do and not to do. I learned about A, B, and C priorities.

Of the 10 areas on the wheel of life (e.g. spiritual life, financial stewardship, work, marriage, family, etc), we were told to put only 2-3 in the “A” category, 5 in the “C” category, and the rest in the “B” category. “A” priorities are areas of my life that I want to focus my time, energy, and finances to grow. I learned it is impractical to try to grow in more than just a few areas at any one time. That was a real eye-opener for me.

For each “A” priority, we were asked to set a goal and then flesh out that goal. Using the help of other life coaches and a variety of exercises, we broke our goals into manageable parts – stages, projects, tasks, etc. Then we had to count the costs – time, money, energy. After doing this for my goal, I realized it was not a good idea to pursue my goal before the end of the year and that even in 2008 it would need to be broken down into manageable stages.

I love to dream big and set lofty goals. However, failing to flesh out my goals and not counting the total cost in the past has cost me dearly. What about you? How can you be a better steward with your dreams, goals, time, energy, and finances?
Prayer Power
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your patience with me as I journey through life. Teach me to be a good steward with all You have entrusted to me. Thank You that Your Word is a lamp unto my feet. Bless the choices and decisions I make each day to benefit Your Kingdom. Bless those who read this message likewise. In Yeshua’s name I pray and give You glory. Amen.
Link of the Day
Achieve Your Dreams and Goals

Blessings to count the costs before pursuing your goals!

Joseph PeckJoseph

Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Empowering Dreams
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not

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